K rock Football

Crows edge Port to move into top four

ADELAIDE forward Tom Lynch has slotted three goals in a 20-point win against arch-foe Port Adelaide which lifts the Crows into the AFL’s top four.

The Crows held off a fast-finishing Port to triumph 13.10 (88) to 9.14 (68) on a slippery Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide led at every change despite losing prime mover Matt Crouch to a groin injury.

But from 44 points up in the opening minute of the last quarter, the Crows were given an almighty scare as Port booted five unanswered goals to threaten to steal victory.

While Lynch put on Adelaide’s attacking polish, the Crows’ fourth consecutive victory was built by a supreme defence marshalled by backmen Daniel Talia and Rory Laird (31 disposals).

Fellow defender Alex Keath (26 possessions) was also instrumental in suffocating Port’s forwards who mustered just three goals from 50 inside 50s until three-quarter time.

Crows winger Rory Atkins (21 disposals) was prominent while onballers Brad Crouch (30 touches), Rory Sloane (26 disposals) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen provided the grunt work around the packs.

Port, who lost halfback Ryan Burton in the first term to a hamstring injury, was well served by Tom Rockliff, who collected a game-high 41 disposals, Travis Boak (28 possessions) and Sam Powell-Pepper (two goals).

But the Power were never in the hunt early – they were goal-less in the opening quarter and trailed by 11 points at quarter-time.

Adelaide outscored the Power four goals to two in the second stanza, with Lynch booting two – the first from a fortunate holding-the-man free, the second from a clever snap from a tight angle.

The Crows took a 21-point advantage into halftime and booted with four goals to one in the third term.

Adelaide led by 38 points at the last change and when Lynch scored his third goal inside 60 seconds of the final term, his side had a 44-point buffer.

Port then staged a belated rally with five goals in a 16-minute scoring spree to sneak within 12 points.

But Adelaide’s Lynch then sealed the deal with a shrewd pass to his co-captain Taylor Walker (two majors), who goaled to end Port’s challenge.

© AAP 2019

ADELAIDE 2.1 6.5 10.8 13.10 (88)

PORT ADELAIDE 0.2 2.8 3.12 9.14 (68)

Goals: Adelaide: T Lynch 3 R Knight 2 T Walker 2 D Mackay E Himmelberg H Greenwood L Murphy R Atkins R Sloane. Port Adelaide: D Howard 2 S Powell-Pepper 2 C Rozee K Amon K Farrell S Gray X Duursma.

Venue: Adelaide Oval.